A Danish artist supplied with 532,000 krone (~$76,000) by a museum to recreate a work featuring cash pinned to a canvas instead turned in empty frames with the title “Take the money and run,” which he did. Jens Haaning must now pay it all back, ruled a judge, minus the 40,000 krone (~$7,000) actually specified as the artist’s fee.
At the time, Lasse Andersson, the director of the Kunsten Museum, told the Guardian: “We are not a wealthy museum. … We have to think carefully about how we spend our funds, and we don’t spend more than we can afford.”
Haaning told Danish radio at the time: “The work is that I have taken their money. It’s not theft. It is breach of contract, and breach of contract is part of the work.”
“Open admission of breaching the contract being used as evidence in court” was, unfortunately for Haaning, not part of the work. It seems quite foolish of the museum to have put the empty canvas on display anyway, and quite fortunate the he made that statement.